I am writing to give highlights to the candidates so far, and what I have been able to find out about them, just from living in the area, and also doing google searches for their name and location.
First and probably most likely to win this, is Mitch (Mitchell) Roth. Mitch Roth has a lot of well known supporters, and has been in government as a prosecutor and deputy prosecutor.
Excerpt from a press release on Big Island video News;
He was one of the first community-oriented prosecutors in the nation, the first in Honolulu and then on Hawai‘i Island, the release continued. He has been Hawai‘i County’s elected prosecuting attorney since 2012 and served as a deputy prosecutor since 1993, first in Honolulu and then on Hawai‘i Island. One of his first initiatives was to help launch the Pāhoa Weed and Seed community improvement initiative, which became a national model, the release said.https://bigislandnow.com/2019/12/10/mitch-roth-announces-mayoral-campaign
The “weed and seed program” has both positive and negative aspects.
You can read a bit more about it here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0887403414520699
Some of the upsides to this is ridding the community of ice/meth. Some of the downsides to this is targeting easy victims of cannabis usage/sale/cultivation. Anyone who has half a brain knows that cannabis is a non-toxic, non-problematic element of society for thousands of years, used in medicine, spiritual/religion practices, and also recreation. But it is not deadly, is not addictive, and does not need the heavy prosecution and persecution that ice/meth does. However most arrests under this weed/seed program is for cannabis users and not meth users.
Also beyond the drug warrior aspect of his professional career, he also vocally supported the asset forfeiture laws in the State of Hawaii, and vigorously enforced those laws for decades. He also worked against a bill that would require a criminal conviction for asset forfeiture to occur. Presently, and with his support, no charges and no convictions are needed to secure an asset forfeiture procedure against an American Citizen in the state of Hawaii. So if the police simply suspect a property is a part of a crime, the police/prosecutor do not have to issue charges, or get a conviction, they can simply fly through some documents and grab someone’s property regardless if it is justified or not (meaning, no conviction of a crime). Then the money gets directed to local police funds.
Read more about his efforts in this scheme here; https://bit.ly/38wJnoi
On the other hand he supports STEM programs according to the press release:
Roth is a founding member of the Hawai‘i Island Visitor Aloha Society (VASH), the Community Coalition for Neighborhood Safety, NexTech, which creates STEM opportunities for youth, and has helped bring the Citizens Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to Hawai‘i Island, the release said.https://bigislandnow.com/2019/12/10/mitch-roth-announces-mayoral-campaign
He is being very vague on his website about his policies, and politics. But a simple google search has revealed a lot about him. So I can say he has great qualification in being acquainted with government. But I don’t always think that is a positive thing. Sometimes people get too entrenched and become “the swamp“.
His campaign manager Pomai Bartolome appears to be wearing Kai’i gear, which would be the triangle and smaller triangles inside, which is a common sign of the protesters that are obstructing the road at Mauna Kea.
It should also be noted the Pomai also works for KWXX, which if you are acquainted, this radio station plays a lot of Hawaiian separatist music such as “Keep Hawaiian Lands in Hawaiian Hands” and “Desecration” among others.
Then there is Wendell Kaehuaea
There has been a lot of campaigns run and lost by this man, according to Hawaii Tribune Herald 22 campaigns in the past, and now this bid for mayor in 2020.
He has a long enough history that his politics are easy to identify unlike some of his competition.
This is a Q & A June 18th 2018 by Civil Beat. It is worth looking into.
Then there is;
Restaurateur Tante Urban of Kailua-Kona
“I am applying for mayor of Hawaii County because I want to give our people a choice — a choice of new beginning, a choice of new leadership,” Urban says on his candidate website. “A leader that will look at things in a different perspective with a different approach — from a business and outsider’s point of view. … I am here because I love Hawaii, I love our people and I am ready to work for our people.”
This is another candidate with few words, and a very complicit or secret political stance on most issues from what I can tell. I have dug enough digging to know it is very difficult to find out where he stands on critical issues.
His campaign page on Facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/TanteUrbanForMayor2020/
Lastly at least as of now, I have heard rumors that Ikaika Marzo is possibly running, but there is nothing official yet.
Ikaika is probably most well known for the Puna Hub during the 2018 lava flow. He has been a “local hero of sorts”, but at the same time has frequently made politicized videos about supporting separatists and sovereignty activists at the Mauna Kea protest. Disregarding the rule of law, and supporting some very controversial race-based rights and privileges that only Native Hawaiians can gain access too based on blood quantum. He also appears to believe that “Hawaii is a fake state” and “Under illegal occupation” at least according to the many videos that he made at the Mauna Kea protest over the last 5 months.
I do not know if he is running, but in my opinion, he has about as many good traits as negative traits.
A year ago (December 4th 2018) Big Island Video News reported:
One thing Marzo cannot escape is speculation on a possible future in politics. “His political future is written in Puna,” announced parade MC Tiffany Edwards-Hunt as Marzo walked down Pāhoa Village Road, a testament to his popularity in the community.https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2018/12/04/video-ikaika-marzo-mulls-future/
Then there is Harry Kim, the do-nothing mayor, who has let mob-rule, run Hawaii county.
He appears to be sending signals that he is retiring. So I won’t talk too much about him. But he may yet change his mind, as he has the advantage of being the present Mayor.
Reference to his signals about retiring.
It will be an interesting race next year. Soon we will report on the Hawaii County Council Race. That one may even be MORE controversial than the mayoral race.